Gov. Quinn says without reform IL will spend more on pensions than education in 2016

By Audrey Williams

Gov. Quinn says without reform IL will spend more on pensions than education in 2016

August 7, 2012 Updated Aug 7, 2012 at 8:02 PM CDT

SPRINGFIELD, Ill -- Governor Pat Quinn (D) has called lawmakers back for a special session August 17th with hopes to solve Illinois' pension crisis.

"The people of Illinois cannot have the most under-funded pension system in the United States, $83 billion liability, $12 million a day growing, a billion every three months. We can't do this, we have to stop it," said Gov. Quinn during a stop in Peoria Tuesday.

The Governor recently released data from the Office of Management and Budget that shows without pension reform, Illinois will spend more on pensions than education by 2016.

Representative Mike Unes (R) agrees something drastic needs to be done, but disagrees with the Governor's current plan to shift pension costs of downstate and suburban Chicago teachers to their own school districts.

"Cost shift is not pension reform. Cost shift is shifting the burden somewhere else and so that's not really reform," said Unes.

House Minority Leader Tom Cross has said republicans won't back a Senate-passed reform package that only deals with two of the state's five retirement systems, calling that plan 'minimal' compared to the real problem.

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